Monday, November 9, 2015

Modding a toaster ovens for craft projects

Monday, November 9, 2015

For oven clay, polymer clay projects, I modified the cheapest toaster ovens.
I use this oven for craft projects only.

Features added:

  • The temperature gauge
  • The silent timer(no ding bell)
  • The timer extended to 60min from 15min

Although the toaster ovens has temperature control feature.
The temperature inside the toaster ovens is not accurate.
So I installed an oven temperature gauge.

I also took the ding bell from the timer unit.

Now I can work on a project at night without that ding bell.

I replaced the 15 min timer switch unit to 60min. For replacing the unit, simple desoldering and soldering was required.

I labeled the numbers with Dymo.

If you are interested in modding a toaster ovens, please be careful. Do it at your own risk.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Converting Tabletop Easel into Drawing Board

Friday, October 9, 2015

I converted my table top painting easel into a drawing board out of necessity.
I bought a 36 x 18 inches lumber core plywood board.

I don't want to mod the easel because I want to keep it as is.

If I just place the board to the easel, the board is wobbly.
So I made a pair of stabilizing parts which is detachable.

These stabilizers are placed like this.

With this simple hack, the easel can hold the board steady.
As I work in a standing position, the drawing board sits on my standing desk in adjusted position.
I am very happy with No more hunched back when I am drawing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cork Pen Rest

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This quick project is part2 of repurposing cork used in wine bottles.

I made a pen rest for dip pens. I need to be extra carefull with sharp nibs. I don't want pens rolling around on my desk or dropped on a floor with nibs broken. I got this idea from chopstick rest.

I cut a wine cork into halves. Please be carefull if you use a utility knife.

To make dents for the neck of pens, I used a micro power tool. You can use the pen body with wrapping a piece of sandpaper around as a sanding stick.

My pens rest nicely on the cork.

It could be this way as you prefer.

Cork lids for Inkwells

I bought a glass inkwell at a thrift shop. I am not sure how old it is. I really like the oval shape and the pen rest.

I noticed that the inkwell has no lids on. So I made those lids out of cork that used in wine bottles.

I just did little sanding with a pice of sandpaper wrapping around the cork to fit tightly with the inkwell.

I varnished only the surface facing the bottom.

As a material, I am suprised how easily cork can be cut or reshaped. I am curiously wondering what else I can make with cork used in wine bottles.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Typewriter Key-top Fabrication without a 3D printer

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I had a Lettera 32 with a missing shift key-top on the left. I wish I had a 3D printer to make the keytop. But I don't have one, So I did epoxy resin casting. I made a molding from the other shift key-top on the right of the typewriter.

 In the picture above, the key-top on the left is the one I made. Painting was the hardest part in this project. The color did not match with the aged and faded plastic. I did re-painting so many times. Though the key I made is bit shinny, I can't tell much difference between them from a distance.

For molding, I used a thermal plastic which is hard and dense at at normal temperature.

I put the plastic bar in the boiled water. When the plastic bar become soft. I mold the key-top with it.

Then some epoxy resin is poured in and wait for it sets. The rubber is transparent. So if there air in side. Use a needle to let it out.

After open the mold, start scraping off excess bits with a xacto-knife or a scraper before the resin completely sets, then followed by lots of sanding.

 I think comparison is the to this process.

 After spraying some primer and some more sanding, the key is ready to be painted.

The key is back!!

I think that it would be a good idea to know things can be made/fabricated by hand, before I try 3D printing.  Also I start wondering how ancient sculptures were made and imagining about works done by hand.

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Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Laser Engraving Logo / Decoupaging

Monday, June 29, 2015

I found a small wooden artist box which already has ugly white paint on it. I don't know how old it is but It looks pretty old. I kind of liked leather handle parts and snap fasteners of the box.
I thought it would be a good storage for my dip pens and nibs if I customized it.

First, I sanded off the paint. Then I leaser engraved my logo on it.
For finishing, I just cleaned with lemon oil then applied some bees wax.

Good things about laser engraving is that unlike paints, an image doesn't smudge or bleed when you finishing the surface. And it looks good too.

This is how pens and nibs are stored.

To know which nib is which, I made labels scanned from the packages. For making these labels, I used decoupaging method.

I used Chamage for transferring images. I scanned images and printed on usual office papers. On the image side, I applied some Chemage then dried with a hair drier. Then I soaked it in water.

I scraped off unwanted tissue on the back of the label to make it thin. I used a plastic scraper and my finger. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, it tears the paper.

Now these are thin film like papers and good for decoupaging. I glued them with Chemage and top coated also.

I think incorporating different image-transferring methods in wooden surface would be interesting.
Both laser and decoupage work well on wooden surface.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Router Table Portable - DIY

Monday, June 22, 2015

I made a portable router table that can be attached to a work bench.
When I need it. I take it outside and put it on my workbench for routing.

Basically I carved a wooden board to be able to accommodate the router base.
If I use some ply-wood boards, it would be much easier to build a router table.
But I just used the material I have already had.

After lots of carving and little sanding, it fits perfectly to the router

Making Fecne


I routed those parallel slots from both sides of the board. So the lines didn't meet precisely.
That caused jerky movement of the fence when I adjust it. I might have to replace those bolts to thinner bolts.

  The center of the fence is cut where bits can go through.

Making a picture frame 

My router table may not be precise for professional use but it serves my purpose.
I made a picture frame with it.

Having a router table expanded what I can make in woodworking definitely.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UV Exposure Unit out of a scanner

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For processing a photo-polymer plate, I built an UV Exposure Unit out of a scanner.
I bought this scanner for three bucks at a thrift store. As a flatbed scanner has a nice glass plate, it will be an ideal casing for building an UV Exposure Unit.

I installed UV lamps. These are from a nail lamp product. I chose those lamps, because of good availability and less expensive.


First, I took all parts out from the scanner. You might find some useful stuff for other projects. 

This time what I found are:

  • A piece of acrylic board 
  • A focusing lens 
  • A metal shaft 
  • Electrical small bits and pieces 

MDF Mount and Reflective material

I built a mount base for lamps. I put a reflective material on it.

8 UV lamps are installed.

Two power cords come out from the back which is the only part I don’t like. This means two circuit boards of nail lamp products are inside.

The light is quite powerful.
With this UV unit, I have processed some plates that came out good.

If you are interested in printmaking and building your own desktop UV exposure unit without spending lots of money. Using a scanner would be a good idea.

Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please share your creative ideas and thoughts.

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Arts & Crafts - DIY - ShuheiFujikura © 2015